The United States is known for its clever innovation and creativity. We have brought forth more inventions and new ideas than any other nation in the world. Why? Because we have what no other nation has: FREEDOM. We are free thinkers, innovators, and inventors. This didn’t come about because of high stakes testing. It came from minds and hearts that were set free.
Think of some of the great innovators of all time: Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs… None of these did well in school, but were brilliant inventors.
America was the first to put a man on the moon! –Even at a time when high stakes testing didn’t exist!
There is a definite difference between academia and innovation.
Academia is the result of high stakes testing. Innovation is the result of freedom!
High stakes testing reduces creativity and puts all of our children into a one-size-fits-all box. The effects can be very harmful:
- Article: “Inside a Chinese Test-Prep Factory” –speaks about the amount of pressure Chinese children have from birth to achieve high test scores for entering into college. These children are shamed by parents if they do not pass, are taunted by higher-achieving peers, and many are committing suicide:
- The loss of valuable learning time due to teachers preparing students for the test. There is no benefit of administering a standardized test more than a total of total of 4 times during K-12. Schools can get a clear enough picture of how students are doing with testing grades 3, 6, 8, and once more during high school;
- Reduces the importance of other educational enriching activities such as music, art, P.E. and even history;
- Undermines American ideas of free thinking, creativity, experimentation, freedom of expression and diversity in education;
- Has the potential to increase bullying in schools and suicide rates (as seen in Japan, China, and South Korea);
- The exams are not fair in determining a school’s grade and how well the teachers are doing their jobs. Kids with higher family incomes always outperform those that live in more disadvantaged areas;
- Leads to increased grade retention and dropping out;
- Drives out good teachers.
Parents across the U.S. are telling about the ill affects of these exams: https://vimeo.com/120619448
The AZMerit test is an untested test on questionable standards. It also ignores decades of actual research evidence on how children learn and bypass successful learner-centered innovations in the field of education. There have been over 500 Early Childhood Health and Education Professionals that have voiced their concerns about the Common Core Standards and related exams.